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Grand Rapids holds Martin Luther King Day Vaccine Clinic

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Courtesy cmich.edu
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Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute is coordinating a vaccine clinic.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute is hosting a vaccine clinic with the goal of increasing the vaccination rate among the Grand Rapids African American Community.

Nationwide and state-by-state the rate is low. The Kaiser Family Foundation collects data by race and ethnicity. Its most recent report released January 12th reveals in Michigan the Asian population has the highest vaccination rate at 65% followed by White and Hispanic at 54% and Black at 42%. History – the Tuskegee Experiment and distrust of public health in particular - is one reason leading to vaccine hesitancy.

“We have a lot of work to do to help make people comfortable and to get them surrounded and in conversations with people that they trust.”

Vanessa Greene is CEO of the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute. It’s organizing a communitywide vaccination campaign enlisting local pastors, the NAACP, Urban League, Grand Rapids Black Nurses Association and supported by local health care systems.

“So, we want the community at large to understand the magnitude of it and why it is important for all of us to do our part and try to end this pandemic.”

As we celebrate the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Greene reminds of one of his quotes advocating for health equity.

“That of all forms on inequity, injustice in health care is the most cruel and most inhumane. I could not think of a better way to honor him than to come out and get vaccinated on the day that we’re celebrating his legacy.”

The COVID vaccine clinic is being held Monday from 9am to 4pm at the Brown-Hutcherson Ministries located at 618 Jefferson Ave. SE.